"Will your Silver Spring seller take less for their home?"

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® MD594797

"I know this is a favorite question for any listing agent" the buyer's agent started out, "but will your seller take less?"

As a Silver Spring, MD area listing agent there is only one way to answer this question: "Thank you very much for the interest but, as you know, an offer is so much more than just price. Please put it in writing and I would be happy to present it!"

It is my job to: guide my sellers through the pre-listing stage, assist with preparing the home for the market, gather all necessary disclosures, take a close look at recent sales and active competition to help my sellers arrive at a list price, to market the property, generate interest and offers, to present them promptly and to do everything and then some to go from contract to settlement. 

It is not my job to decide whether or not my client will accept less. Unless instructed in writing to do otherwise, I will present any and all written offers. The offering price is obviously a big deal but there are other terms that can make an offer [more] attractive: closing date, inspection/appraisal/existing home sale contingencies, amount of seller subsidy if any, earnest money deposit, buyer qualification and preapproval status all play a role.

Just throwing out a $ amount does not tell me anything about the other terms of the contract and is not enough for my sellers to make a decision. A verbal offer is missing the crucial information I need to prepare an estimated closing cost worksheet to show my sellers what this offer means for their bottom line.

In my opinion it is also not fair to the buyer ... what if the buyer wants to offer a lower price but it is still an overall attractive offer, attractive enough to open up negotiations? He will never know .. When representing home buyers I always put an offer in writing. A verbal offer is not worth the paper it was not written on!

Will your Silver Spring home seller take less for their home? I don't know! Please put it in writing and we'll find out!

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Thompson Company, REALTORS

16910 Oak Hill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905
o: (301) 384-9177 c: (240)593-2860


Andrea is a REALTOR® based in Silver Spring, MD, who has enjoyed assisting buyers and sellers in Montgomery and Howard County, MD (and beyond) for 16+ years now. She always answers the phone with a smile, enjoys running, hiking, and traveling, speaks German, reads a lot, blogs a little, and drinks too much coffee. 


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 Andrea Bedard, Thompson Company, REALTORS: from Just Listed to Just SOLD


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Christine Adler
FindAHomeWithMe.com - Fort Lauderdale, FL
SE Palm Beach, Broward & NE Miami-Dade Counties FL

Great post - a point of contention for many agents. Well said!


Jan 09, 2013 08:52 AM #1
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

I totally agree with Christine and now hit the mighty suggest tab!

Jan 09, 2013 08:56 AM #2
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Christine, it frustrated me a bit because the agent kept asking over and over again, he also wanted "to save some time"! What a disservice to his client!

Thank you very much John!

Jan 09, 2013 09:39 AM #3
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

OK..pretty sure I just used up my last suggest on this excellent post Andrea!  Put it in writing and I wil present it...what makes you think I am going to tell you if my sellers will take less lol :)?!  

I just read your comment above...this was an Agent?!  How silly are they?!  Can't wait to see the offer write up...probably all messed up lol :)!

Jan 09, 2013 09:42 AM #4
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living
Andrea, I can honestly say I hate that question. And very often is follows the stat,net of "we are selling our house but we are not going to give it away."
Jan 09, 2013 09:56 AM #5
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Andrea, wonderful post! An offer is much more than the sales price and sometimes the terms can be deal breakers for a seller. I always answer this question with "I can't answer that question for my seller and the best thing to do is write up an offer and send it over". I've had some sellers tell me they won't except certain things..a certain price only to change there minds when an offer is in front of them.

Jan 09, 2013 12:27 PM #6
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Why thank you Brenda! Exactly .. what if said buyer decides not to and his agent then proceeds to share any information at his office. Nope, I can't answer that question! He was going to "save some time" ... the offer didn't come and I doubt it will.

Hi Silvia, a seller just can't make a decision based on just a number, too much else plays a role. A verbal also doesn't show us how serious or qualified the buyer is.

Hi Cindy, thank you! Deal breakers or deal makers! A lower-than-list-price offer doesn't automatically mean bad. Sellers should be able to look at the full picture and how that impacts their bottom line, only then can they make a decision.

Jan 09, 2013 12:41 PM #7
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Andrea, I'm not crazy about that question nor the one wondering why the seller is selling!  It is completely NOT our job to determine how low the seller will go...often times even they don't know.

Jan 09, 2013 01:19 PM #8
Eric Crane -- Your Full Service, Discount Fee Realtor®
DPR Realty LLC - Gilbert, AZ
Greater Metro Phoenix Arizona

Hi, Andrea -- well said! Although you know it is human nature to try for a competitive advantage -- so they are going to keep trying to get that information out of us!  Have a great day

Jan 09, 2013 01:28 PM #9
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I've often been heard to say to buyers who ask that questions that they will have to make an offer to find out.

Jan 09, 2013 01:39 PM #10
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Absolutely right on the money.  Your response as the listing agent is perfect.  ANd if I am the buyers agent and my buyer asks that, I always say, I dont' know, let's write up a contract, submit it in writing and we will see! -Kasey

Jan 09, 2013 01:49 PM #11
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Mona, why is the seller selling? Because he wants to :-) A seller just can't make an educated decision without seeing all the terms.

Hi Eric, I know .. but my standard answer is all they are getting out of me ;-)

Hi Tammy, yes, a written offer is the only way to find out.

Hi Kasey, I've worked with agents who provided too much information and it turned out to be the opposite of what the seller decided to do. Had we not ignored it and not submitted an offer, the buyer would have lost his dream home.

Jan 09, 2013 11:43 PM #12
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Andrea, this is SO true!  I think sometimes sellers don't even know what their bottom line is until they are holding an offer in their hands!  SHOW me the offer, don't TELL me the offer!  Suggested!

Jan 10, 2013 12:37 AM #13
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Exactly.  I've had buyers do the same - where we presented a "last" counter offer and my buyers even instructed me to tell the sellers to "take it or leave it" and they absolutely wouldn't come any higher so not to bother countering.  Guess what?  Seller countered and my buyers took it.  You just never know what people will do - I don't even think people always know what they will do, so it's definitely not our job to speak for them, that's for sure.  -Kasey

Jan 10, 2013 05:22 AM #14
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Melissa, and it's not always what it seems at first glance... the amount of closing help asked for can make a big difference. Show me the offer, including pre-approval and copy of earnest money, and the sellers will be able to respond.

Hi Kasey, I've had that happen, too! I've also been told during negotiations that the seller would absolutely not throw in a 1 year home warranty ... but what do you know? He did! You got to ask and not make assumptions nor decisions for the client. 

Jan 10, 2013 10:51 AM #15
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Andrea Bedard

M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond
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